For 37 years, audiences have followed small town friends Reggie, Mike, and Jody in their quest to stop the evil, dimension-hopping schemes of The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm in his final performance) and his armada of killer Sentinel Spheres. Now, Don Coscarelli"s acclaimed horror/sci-fi Phantasm franchise comes to a close in a truly epic finale, a multi-dimensional battle across multiple timelines, alien planets, and altered realities, where no less than the fate of Earth is on the line.
Doing its best to pick up where Phantasm IV confusingly ended we find Reggie wandering the desert without his Hemicuda and still searching for his friend Mike. In a voiceover and through flashbacks he brings us up to date on the Phantasm lore and then throws us Phans a bit of a bone with some extra intel on the Tall Man what he is, where he came from and what has happened since the end of Oblivion. The red planet has bled over into our world, there are infinite numbers of Tall Men as it appears when Jebidia Morningside walked into the portal his appearance was replicated. Reggie has been time and dimension hopping searching for Mike, trying to avoid those lethal spheres and hunting the Tall Man...or is he? SPOILER ALERT: So Phantasm V is a very ambitious movie, a bit too ambitious it wants to try to please the Phans on a limited budget but just when you start to feel like you have pieced together the Phantasm mystery is it a dream? Is it reality? The movie goes and throws in an absurd twist. The side story is that Reggie is in a care facility and Mike comes to visit him ever day, he is suffering from dementia and he reveals to Mike this wild tale of the Tall Man and his army and of the end of mankind. Mike comes to him later in the movie and reveals that he shared the same "dream" as Reggie except he had been wandering the desert with yellow blood running out of his head and he remembers there used to be a silver sphere in there and that it still might be in there. The final confrontation takes place on the red planet where these futuristic freedom fighters including mike and reggie are attempting to stop the tall man and his dwarves from going through the portal. We learn that Reggie had interefered with the Tall Man's master plan and that he needed a plaything because he could have just destroyed Reggie to begin with. Reggie begs to have Mike returned to him but the Tall Man refuses, When they are confronted by an army of spheres in the same scene we at first think Mike is indeed human but the sphere hovers in front of his face and then Mike's eyes turn a robotic silver...is he an android? Was he always this way? WTF? Seriously? So basically we get the impression the Tall Man is truly unstoppable and these freedom fighters will keep portal jumping trying to stop him from destroying other worlds. The cameos appreciated but don't serve a lot of purpose. Reggie finally gets his revenge on the Lady in Lavendar, Jody shows up at the end to give everyone a ride into the sunset and Rocky even makes a last minute appearance as a resistance fighter. Sadly, the movie too late in the game starts opening up more questions to the older questions it was starting to sort out. Also, the few scenes with Angus Scrimm as the Tall Man are bittersweet. The Tall Man really is not in the movie that much and it could have been due to Scrimm's health at the time but he definitely relishes his moments on screen. My favorite part is when Reggie wakes up in a civil war era hospital right next to Jebidia Morningside. Reggie is a bit confused at this kindly old man with a very familiar face and just as Reggie is about to relax the Tall Man uses that chilling voice and tells him he has always been watching. This is a decent effort for a Phantasm movie, I know it is the end but my final thoughts are that I wish they would have been done a better job wrapping things up as the movie seemed to have several different endings and kept piling on new story elements.
I have grown up putting together this forever puzzling movie. No matter how disjointed the story was, I stuck with. I first watched Oblivion on tv years ago, and I have been looking forward to the conclusion of this story ever since. Now, finally watching Ravager, I must say that I am pretty disappointed. I don't care about the production value being so bad that Tyler Perry would be shaking his head. Also, Im used to the bad acting and poor writing from the previous installments. What I was expecting was just a flat out conclusion. Either The Tall Man reigns supreme or Reggie kicks all kinds ass to true victory. But no, we get another to be continued like they actually believe they can gather up more money for a sixth movie. I seriously do not hope they plan to continue without Angus Scrimm.
Thought this was the installment to end it all but it turned out to be another set up movie for future installments. Had this movie set up a new villain after finally defeating the tall man it would have been better. But no.
I would have loved to give this 5 stars.......but there's no way. 18 years since the last film and this is the best they could do with the original cast??? I'm sorry to say this but the franchise was wasted after 1998. Here are my reasons however judge for yourself & I'd be willing to watch it again maybe give it a chance to soak in. Anyways:
-Bill Thornbury, Gloria Henry, Kat Lester are all extremely minor components to this film, meaningless cameos. I hoped for each one of them to be more involved throughout the film -all the flashbacks/dimension changing just doesn't work (the other films did work) too many quick changes, showing Reggie as less & less of a here -no character development (Dawn/Jane killed off immediately, the little guy who keeps calling Reggie baldy just appears, who the hell is this guy because the movie would've been better without him. The farm hand guy seems like a last minute write-in just so they could kill one more person with a sphere. It just doesn't work well. -other reviews said this was a great way to wrap up the series, I'd say this film didn't give much clarity if that was the idea nor did I feel like the movie succeeded in showing us Reggie/Mike/Jody kicking a-- together in a way that blew the audience away. All that happens is they kind of find each other and drive away.
........Parts 1-4 serve as a better representation of the series than Ravager. I don't plant to buy this on dvd and again, the franchise seems to have been squandered because for whatever reason/reason$ they couldn't keep the magic alive after part4 (Oblivion). Too many years passed. I know others won't agree but Phantasm had a better story, better characters and the cast continuity that a franchise like "Halloween" did not - and look how many films that series had.